The Boston Red Sox have let Henry Owens return to Pawtucket by walking back from Chicago – how appropriate.
After the latest adventure in marksmanship, the Boston Red Sox have forced pitcher Henry Owens to walk back to Pawtucket from Chicago. No free pass as in free pass via six walks in Chicago. When last seen Owens had been on a gingerly pace on I-90 just south of Toledo, Ohio. Maybe a sympathetic fan or a Yankee fan will give Owens a lift?
My life is full of nuisances – obstacles that I tend to avoid out of some type of pathological fear my head will explode when exposed to them – clowns, of course, are on everyone’s list along with the nauseating calls from Cardholder’s Services, anything to do with healthy foods, the mystery of loading a dishwasher correctly, cats and the top of my list – walks! I hate walks.
More from BoSox Injection
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Why Red Sox fans should be rooting for Carlos Correa’s Mets deal to go through
- Red Sox exec claims Mookie Betts loss changed management style, but actions say otherwise
At a recent Red Sox contest with the detestable Noo Yawkers young Mr. Owens was in his usual nibble around the plate habit and I remarked to my daughter – “just toss the damn thing over the plate and you may get lucky.” Alex Rodriguez promptly sent the next pitch to New Hampshire.
Owens is the latest in a very long line of Red Sox pitchers who somehow equate throwing a strike with contracting Ebola. With Owens it is now in the extreme and a view through the looking glass shows things are not about to abruptly change. In 12.1 innings Owens has managed to walk 13. I could put a blindfold on someone fully engaged in last call at Brendan Behan Pub who could most certainly – even in an epic stupor – manage to demonstrate the ability to actually throw a strike.
Pitchers have growing pains and that is magnified by young pitchers. Bruce Hurst, Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester and even Roger Clemens had their collective moments of control fallibility. You also have the mysterious control disappearance of Daniel Bard whose 100 MPH heater suddenly took on a life of its own striking fear into the hearts of mortal souls with a bat in hand. No batter wishes to be a negative statistic and Bard had the potential to be an executioner with his heat gone astray.
I have seen Owens pitch on many occasions, both in Boston and Pawtucket and what seems to happen is some type of fog suddenly envelops his control – with particular emphasis on what passes for his fastball. Stephen King – a notorious Red Sox “homer” could write a best seller on this phenomenon.
Owens is not noted as being overpowering, but even a Jamie Moyer type fastball appears something special when curves are being tossed at 68 MPH and change-ups in the low 70s and with relative precision. Old number one suddenly appears to have a bit of zip on it.
That fog descends and suddenly counts go from reasonable to unreasonable. In Pawtucket twice this season Owens walked three in a row on 12 pitches. A batter simply must have patience when the ball suddenly develops St. Vitus Dance and runners take a leisurely stroll to first as Owens fidgets, stares, and develops a “Why is this happening again?” stare.
Owens has four pitches and has almost 100% mastery of each and every one, but, alas – not at the same time. Apparently working off a fastball that has long decided to take a GPS detour to anywhere but over home plate is patient zero in the complex control issue that may keep Owens permanently stationed in Triple-A. Pitching behind hitters can obviously work in the bushes, but at MLB levels, this is an invitation for abusing a baseball.
Owens has swing and miss stuff and that occasionally surfaces in The Bigs. We’ve all seen the tantalizing curve or change that nicks a corner or freezes a batter, but that is usually spaced around the torturous long counts from the sloth paced Owens. Is there any way to speed this guy up?
I wish I had the elixir that would help. Owens says all the right things, is a hard worker and no doubt has internal angst over his professional ability that you or I cannot begin to contemplate. The good news is Owens made three forgettable starts and Boston won all three – apparently the collective mind of the offenses equates an Owens start as a binge run-scoring necessity.
Owens is now back in Pawtucket where he will no doubt stay anchored until he presents some proof the he has rehabilitated his control issue. The Red Sox have a rotation that is shaping up and may have to make a decision or two on just who is in the rotation – a pleasant problem to have – and one thing is guaranteed – Owens will not be part of the rotation.